Training centre set to close...

PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 10 June 2010

THE prospects for Exmouth's unemployed received another blow with the announcement that a major IT training centre in The Strand will close this summer. Malcolm Walsh, assistant principal of Exeter College, which runs two Government-subsidised Metro Learn

THE prospects for Exmouth's unemployed received another blow with the announcement that a major IT training centre in The Strand will close this summer.Malcolm Walsh, assistant principal of Exeter College, which runs two Government-subsidised Metro Learning Centres, next to the cinema in Exmouth and in the High Street, Exeter, wrote to students announcing its closure 'later this academic year'.The centres are run by the college in conjunction with Tektra, one of the UK's largest IT training organisations, and the decision was taken because part-time learners are 'increasingly training at home' he said.The centre provides both the working and the unemployed with IT training - those on benefits received the service free of chargeBut the closure will not only mean that yet another prominent listed town centre building will be left empty and, coupled with the closure of the Job Centre opposite last spring, it will make it increasingly difficult for the unemployed to retrain and find work without travelling to Exeter.Malcolm Walsh said: "We wrote to all our Metro students last week informing them that, as a result of a review of the curriculum offered by our Metro IT Learning Centres, in Exeter High Street and Exmouth, we are proposing to close the centres later this academic year. "The reason for this proposal is that it is apparent from the review that it is no longer viable to operate the two centres because of changing trends in the way part-time learners study IT, with students training increasingly in their own workplace or at home."We will continue to provide support to all our Metro learners so they will be able to complete their courses and progress on to other suitable programmes should they wish. We recognise that, for some learners, this may involve transferring to Victoria House in Queen Street, Exeter, and we will help those affected with this transfer process." He said they were giving students details of the Kennaway Centre, in Exmouth, which has spaces on a variety of ICT courses run through Devon Adult & Community Learning, Devon County Council.He added: "We remain committed to supporting people wishing to learn new IT skills, or improve their existing IT skills especially at this difficult economic time, and we are continuing to offer full and part-time IT courses at our other Exeter College sites, such as at Victoria House and venues throughout Exeter.

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